City of Perth Lord Mayor Scaffidi questioned about donation to fellow councillor’s State Election campaign

A screen at a Lily Chen campaign event, listing Perth Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi and husband Joe as prize donors.
A screen at a Lily Chen campaign event, listing Perth Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi and husband Joe as prize donors.

PERTH Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi donated to the State Election campaign of fellow councillor Lily Chen, whose vote she could depend on to avoid a heritage listing for the hotel she co-owns.

At last night’s City of Perth council meeting, a question from the public raised the issue of the donation and the impending decision on a heritage recommendation for the Akara Hotel.

The Lord Mayor said her husband donated goods to the value of $75 to a fundraiser for Cr Chen’s campaign as Liberal candidate for Mirrabooka.

However, both “Lisa & Joe Scaffidi” were thanked as prize donors at the event.

Cr Chen said she had declared the gifts appropriately for the City of Perth’s records.

In September, allies of the Lord Mayor voted on the planning committee to delay sending the Akara Hotel heritage recommendation to council, instead opting for “further consultation”.

This was despite a recommendation from City staff that the 112-year-old building, formerly known as the Grand Central Hotel, had significant heritage value.

When the item comes to council, the Lord Mayor will need to leave the chamber for any vote.

Crs Jim Adamos, Janet Davidson, Judy McEvoy and Keith Yong have consistently voted with the Lord Mayor.

Deputy Lord Mayor James Limnios and Crs Reece Harley and Jemma Green are expected to support a heritage listing.

If Cr Chen were to vote in favour of recommending the hotel for heritage listing, that would lock the votes at 4-4, allowing Deputy Lord Mayor Limnios to use a casting vote in the absence of Ms Scaffidi.

Cr Chen’s vote is critical to stopping the City of Perth from following the recommendation of its own staff and encouraging the State Government to heritage list the hotel.